Australian Natural Adventures

nature travel, wildlife tours, adventure travel and general travel to Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific

New Zealand

Aotearoa - Land of the Long White Cloud




Most of Christchurch apart from the very central downtown area is functioning as pre-earthquake. You can see a map of Christchurch here with updated information. The only area affected is the small dark brown area in central downtown. Please note that it is only Christchurch that was damaged, the rest of the country is unaffected, functioning normally, and welcoming tourists.


To the Maori, New Zealand is Aotearoa - the Land of the Long White Cloud. To visitors, it's a maori warriormajestic and scenic country, occupied by perhaps the friendliest and most welcoming people on Earth. And, by 30 million sheep - about 10 for each Kiwi, as New Zealanders are called (it's not a fruit there!). The two main islands are the North and the South, each with their own distinctive character. The North Island is more developed, and home to Auckland, the nation's largest city. The South Island is more rugged, although its largest city, Christchurch, is often called the most English city outside England.

In addition to the two main islands, there are hundreds of smaller ones, from remote Chatham island way out in the Pacific to sub-antartic islands which give home to a variety of penguins. Around the coast there are bays with their own specks of land, and off the bottom of the South Island is Stewart island, pretty much staying just how it's been for the last hundred or more years.

Due to its size, and remoteness, New Zealand doesn't have the richness of fauna seen in Australia, but much of what is there is found nowhere else. More than half a dozen penguin species regularly call in, and three species of kiwis go about their nocturnal business. The famously cheeky Keas, a large mountain parrot, join with several of their relatives in being, along with the Austral Parakeet of Tierra del Fuego, the most southern parrots in the world. Regardless of how many times you experience it, watching parrots cavorting in the snow just doesn't seem right. Much of New Zealand's flora can be traced directly back to the ancient supercontinent of Gondwana, in times when Antartica was lush with plant life. The giant tree ferns, Antarctic Beech and others remind us of another world - as it did the producers of Lord of the Rings, for very good reason.

We know New Zealand well. We can tell you when the albatrosses are nesting in Otago, and where to find a pro for a hit of tennis in Christchurch if you need some exercise along the way. Which cliffbase to walk along for a chance to see a kiwi (the bird, not the New Zealander, or the fruit), and how to lie on a beach in a natural hot-water pool in the sand. Want to see a wrybill? Just ask. Don't know what a wrybill is? Again, just ask!


In New Zealand there are 10 sheep for every person, parrots that will eat your car, and some of the best wine and seafood in the world (sorry Victoria, sorry Tassie). There are mountains to ski, rivers to raft, and bridges to leap off with a giant rubber band tied around your ankles. Did I mention rolling down a hill in a plastic ball filled with water? And people often called the world's friendliest.


To experience this often magical place, where life is slower, and relaxation is a national past-time, just call or email us - we'll be happy to help. You can also add a stop-over in Fiji - call 1 877 834 3648 for more information.



Along with the Rugby World Cup this year are many festivals around the country. Click on the REAL New Zealand Festival image below to find out what's occuring where and when. This is very useful if you are attending a rugby match, or several, as you can see what else is happening when you are there. And even if you're not attending the rugby but still going to NZ, you can see what special festivals you can visit.





milford marinerIf group travel is your style, or you just don't want to drive, but prefer smaller sized groups with lots of activities, we have an excellent 8 day fully guided soft adventure group tour in a luxury mini-coach that touches all the high points. The tour features an overnight sail on Milford Sound, kiwi-spotting on Stewart Island and time to discover Queenstown and al lit offers. See our New Zealand South Island Southern Contrasts page for the full itinerary.



Don't forget we can organize your dream HONEYMOON IN NEW ZEALAND. Even if you or your spouse (or both) are not wildlife enthusiasts, we can set up a honeymoon where every day will be a never to be forgotten experience. Nights are up to you. Activities can include heli-skiing, golf, world class fly fishing, sailing, sea-kayaking and a host more, or just be pampered in world-class spas and luxury lodges. Perhaps a few days exploring the premier wineries of the Blenheim area, combined with a stay on a sheep ranch or horse riding through Lothlorien of Lord of the Rings fame suits your style. Naturally, for those with nature at heart, we can still include birds, whales, and luxuriant forests. Give us a call - 1 877 834 3648 - to find out how we can match your interests and preferences to the myriad of choices offered by New Zealand.



We have a couple of hundred pages of extensive information about New Zealand accommodation, sightseeing, activities and facts on our exclusively New Zealand site. If your preference is to "go it alone," and arrange your own New Zealand vacation, or just need hotels or activities, you can book directly from this secure site. We have everything from individual hotels to complete vacations, fully escorted and independent tours, self-drive itineraries, and modules that you can mix and match to come up with a vacation that's pefect for you. And if you need help along the way, just give us a call - 1 877 VEGEMITE (834 3648).



New Zealand in Parts - a brief tour

The North Island

The South Islan


Doing some driving in New Zealand? Here's a handy guide to approximate driving times:

New Zealand Driving Times and Distances

This site has additional driving and flying information

Sample Itineraries



Christian Touring in New Zealand